By Kathy Coffey
You shall not steal (Exodus 20:15). We might think, “Whew! Got off easy on this one!” We law abiding sorts do not pilfer office supplies, skim from the collection basket, shoplift, or rob banks. At last, this is one commandment that we are handily observing, right? Right — if we stick to the letter of the law. But the commandments are demanding, calling us beyond superficial observance. There are more forms of stealing than we might realize.
Let’s look first at homegrown forms, then at the larger picture of social justice. For example, we rob our families of hours together when we work overtime at jobs to buy more than necessities. The Catholic Church has long taught that people created by God are too precious to be merely a means of profit. Our birthright gifts as God’s children include dignity, security, the divine, transcendent love. So why do we hoard lesser things?
We steal person’s enthusiasm with negative comments. We quash plans that sound naïve to us, quell a child’s creativity, stifle the initiative of a new employee. Unfounded fears can block imaginative solutions and worse — the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Two forms of theft steal from the present —anxiety over the future or mulling over the past. Both rob the current moment of grace and potential.
The items in closets that do not fit or are not worn — these, too, are stolen from those who could be using them, who might actually be thrilled to have them. As Saint Basil reminds us: “The coat in your closet belongs to the naked. The shoes rotting in your basement belong to the barefoot.” Our property and talents belong to us but were given to us by God for the benefit of others. Here again, our model is Christ, who became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).
A look through the Catechism of the Catholic Church reveals social dimensions of this commandment, condemning the payment of unjust wages, bribes to legislators, breaking a contract, and work done poorly. Plus, discrimination against minorities, women, and immigrants, by denying them job opportunities, violates the Eighth Commandment. How Las Vegas must tremble to hear the words: “The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement (CCC 2413).” We may cringe at the busloads of people pumping their savings into slot machines. So, too, people who lavish more money and attention on pets than some children receive are not exercising proper stewardship: “One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons (CCC 2418).” On a more global scale, the arms race plunders the planet’s resources, substituting weapons for basic needs. President Dwight Eisenhower prophetically warned in 1961 that the military-industrial complex could sap our country’s riches.
To conclude on a bright note, many people are making efforts at reparation. Corporate pollution may steal clean water and air, but it is heartening to think of the youth group at Saint Edward the Confessor Parish in Richmond, Virginia. The kids sponsored a feast from every liquid except tap water and donated the money they would have spent to a project providing clean water in Nicaragua. As Helen Keller said: “The world is full of suffering. It is also full of the overcoming of it.” Those who repay the thefts occurring in homes and societies honor the Eighth Commandment brilliantly.
The Gift of Charity
Corporal Works of Mercy
Loving Christ in Disguise
The Corporal Works of Mercy are found in the teachings of Jesus and give us a model for how we should treat all other people — as if they were Christ in disguise. These are charitable actions by which we help our neighbors with their bodily needs. These actions also respond to the basic needs of humanity as we journey together through this life (Source: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops).
Corporal Works of Mercy
- Feed the Hungry
- Give Drink to the Thirsty
- Shelter the Homeless
- Visit the Sick
- Visit the Prisoners
- Bury the Dead
- Give Alms to the Poor
Teachings of Jesus
‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me…Truly I tell you, just as you did to one of the least of these, who are members of my family, you did it to me (Matthew 25).’
The Gift of Music
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Summer Carillon Concerts
Friday, August 25th at 6:30pm
Mark your calendars! Save the dates! A much-loved summer tradition continues this week at Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish and the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport! Our Summer Carillon Concerts continue this Friday, August 25th at 6:30pm (rain or shine)!
This year, Luann Pallazola, Cynthia Cafasso, and Thomas Dort have prepared programs that include familiar classical and international pieces, popular hymns and songs, patriotic melodies, and selections especially for children!
Installed in 1922, the carillon bells in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church were the first toned set in the United States. The carillon’s thirty-one bronze bells hang from a steel beam within the bell-shaped west tower. Our bells range in weight from 16 pounds to 3,000 pounds.
The carillon bells at Our Lady of Good Voyage were forged by the Taylor Foundry in Loughboro, England. In order to avoid import taxes upon their arrival in Gloucester, the church was declared a bonded warehouse by the Collector of Customs in Boston, who happened to be a friend of the local congressman. Soon after, a bill declaring them “works of art” was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Warren G. Harding.
Although the bells can be heard from blocks away, the sound is always best near our church. This year, Our Lady’s Guild will be selling cold drinks, snacks, and even Super Raffle tickets to support our parish. Our Summer Carillon Concerts are a great opportunity for the whole family to gather with friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners to enjoy the gift of music.
Our final concert of the season is scheduled for Friday, September 1st at 6:30pm (rain or shine). For more information about these special events, please contact Luann Pallazola at firstname.lastname@example.org. Spread the word! All are invited! All are welcome! Please join us!
The Assisi Project
Saints for All Seasons
Saturday, September 2nd
Summer is a good time of year to step back from the business and busyness of daily life and focus on our relationships with Jesus and those we are called to love. Unfortunately, few among us are able to leave behind home, work, and family for a real retreat from the responsibilities of the world. For this reason and for the second straight year, the Assisi Project is pleased to announce a special series of summertime mini-retreats called Saints for All Seasons.
Throughout his long priestly ministry, Pope Francis has called people of all ages and backgrounds to learn about and pray with the saints. The Holy Father believes in his heart that the saints bring us closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other. He says: “The saints are still here, not far from us; and their images [and relics] in our churches evoke the ‘cloud of witnesses’ that always surrounds us (cf. Hebrews 12:1)…The saints remind us that even in our lives, however weak and marked by sin, holiness can unfold (4-7-21).”
In this spirit of unfolding holiness, all are invited to join us in July, August, and September for a series of two-hour mini-retreats. These mornings of prayer, reflection, and adoration will focus on the lives of three amazing saints: Saint Veronica Giuliani, Saint Mary Major, and Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Each mini-retreat will begin with the celebration of Holy Mass at 8:00am in Saint Anthony Chapel. After Mass, Father Jim and-or Cliff Garvey will offer a reflection on the life and veneration of a saint whose life of holiness has inspired men and women all around the world. There will be time for questions and faith sharing, too.
After each reflection, we will pray in silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and in veneration of the holy relics of each saint of the day. At 9:30am, we will conclude by praying the Holy Rosary and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Here’s our upcoming schedule:
Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Saturday, September 2nd
Begins with Mass at 8:00am
Saint Anthony Chapel
We hope and pray that you and your family will be able to join us for all or even just part of this special series in celebration of the saints which was so popular last summer! For more information, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. Save the dates! Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome!
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Help Us Help Others!
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society is an international organization that is dedicated to responding to any request from any person or family in need. Here on Cape Ann, we work through Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish to serve the poor and the needy. Help us help others! Donations can be pushed through the mail slot in the parish office, dropped in the collection basket at any Weekend Mass, or mailed to:
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
74 Pleasant Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
New members and volunteers are always welcome! For more information about the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and its good work in our parishes and hometowns, please contact Harry Miller at 978-281-8672 or Robert Weeks at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you or someone you know needs our help, please call 978-281-8672. Thank you for your generous support for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society! May God bless you!
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
All New Clothes Closet
After many months of hard work and renovations, the new Saint Vincent de Paul Clothes Closet is now open for business in Saint Ann Church Hall on the second, third, and fourth Saturdays of every month from 9:00am until 12:00pm. All are welcome to drop by and check out the All New Clothes Closet by entering through the Pleasant Street doors of Saint Ann Church Hall.
Donations of gently worn clothing and shoes are now gratefully accepted during our regular hours and in the bin located in the Saint Ann School parking lot. Please note that we cannot accept donations of books, toys, or household items. For more information about the Saint Vincent de Paul Clothes Closet, please contact Bridget Nelligan at 781-572-4752 or Cathy Kyrouz at 978-290- 1756. Thank you for your generous support!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
The only real wealth comes from helping others. — Cesar Chavez
Electronic giving has become an essential component of parish support in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport; and it is available in both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is safe and easy to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check.
Donations can be made on a weekly, monthly, or one-time-only basis; and it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. In additional to the weekly offering, you can also give electronically to our church restoration funds which helps us plan for the repair and maintenance of our beloved and historic churches.
During these challenging times, Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish need your support more than ever before! Please prayerfully consider enrolling in our ‘We Share!’ electronic giving program! For more information about setting up a new account or for assistance with your existing account, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Thank you for your generous support for our parishes! May God bless you and your family, now and always!
Established in 2014, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is a collaborative of two historic parishes: Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Working together as a Roman Catholic community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, we are committed to living the Gospel of Christ, sharing God’s love and mercy with all people, and rebuilding the Church in Gloucester & Rockport. All are invited! All are welcome! Always!
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In Memory of Mary Goncalves